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Youth with Diabetes are at Risk of Vision Loss Due to Low Numbers Receiving Regular Eye Exams
A sketch of the typical eye chart with letters in descending size.An American study recently showed that children with diabetes may not be getting the eye exams that are needed to avoid vision loss from complications of the disease. "Diabetic retinopathy is the number one cause of vision loss in ages 20-74, so screening is an important component of diabetes care," says one of the researchers involved in the study.

The study leads those in the field to believe that a lack of education surrounding the risks of vision loss for anyone with diabetes. Read more about the study and its conclusions in this article.

If you are experiencing vision loss, we have programs, counseling and assistive technology that may help you adjust to the change. Visit our First Steps After Vision Loss page for an idea of what we offer.

Youth with Diabetes are in Need of Vision Screening, According to Recent Study


Posted in Eye Health | View Post
Traveling the world as a solo visually impaired adventurer
the reflection of an airport is shown in glass windowsIn 2007, Susan Mellsopp experienced unusual retinal detachments that took most of her vision. She had always wanted to travel internationally, but hadn’t had the chance yet. She decided not to procrastinate any longer, and to go while she still had some limited vision remaining.

In this post, she writes about travelling with her guide dog or on her own and the assistance she receives as well as the questions she gets when they realize she is visually impaired and traveling solo.

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to try solo travel as a visually impaired person? Share your tips in the comment section below.

Meet the woman who won’t let being blind ruin her travel plans


Posted in Blind Living Skills, Living Independently, Personal Stories | View Post
Blind from birth versus vision loss later in life.
A pink swirl of color with no definition or obvious meaningChristine Ha, who won Masterchef 3 as the first blind contestant to be a part of the show, joins Tommy Edison to discuss the question that many fans are asking. What is the difference between being born blind and losing your sight later in life? Christine was in her 20s when her sight loss began and Tommy was born blind. The two discuss dreams, what their field of vision currently is like and some other fun topics.

Both are inspiring people and together this 10 minute video is full of laughs and honest answers to difficult questions.

What do you think of their answers? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

What are the differences between being born blind & becoming blind (featuring Christine Ha)


Posted in Emotional Adjustment to Vision Loss, Living Independently, Visually Impaired | 6 Comment(s)
Technology to help us navigate
An ornate street light is shown against autumn leavesHere’s a great article highlighting some of the assistive technology that is being used by cities around the world to help people who are visually impaired navigate more safely, easily and independently. From Bluetooth technology in the underground to mobile apps that give users directions and cautions when needed, there are new technologies available on a regular basis.

The article also looks at areas that still need attention for safety reasons and calls on cities to make a more concerted effort to create inclusive transportation and city streets.

If you are experiencing vision loss, visit our Programs Page to learn more about what we offer to help you adjust to the changes.

Using Technology to Help Visually Impaired People Navigate Cities

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Assistive Technology | 6 Comment(s)
3D printing during pregnancy helps visually impaired couple see their baby
A woman lies on a bed with a monitor showing her unborn childAssistive technology and devices such as 3D printers have made a big difference for many people living with a disability.

For one couple, both visually impaired, the use of a 3D printer has allowed them to experience what many people see in an ultrasound. The couple approached their obstetrician about what options might be available to help them experience their pregnancy more fully. The doctor used the first ultrasound machine with built in 3D printing capacity to create the model of their son.

About the experience of 3D printing, the expecting mother says, “Thanks to the exams and printing, we were able to not only know that our baby was growing healthy, but also to have a very real contact and establish a very strong involvement with our son.”

Read more in this article about the family and the doctor who made it happen.

If you are experiencing vision loss, we offer programs, counselling and classes that can help. Contact us at (619) 583-1542 or have a look through our website for more information.

3D Printing Helps Blind Brazilian Couple to Feel Their Unborn Child

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Assistive Technology | 10 Comment(s)
Project Torino teaches coding basics to kids who are visually impaired
3D blocks of various colours form a square patternMicrosoft has released a new program to explain coding to kids who are visually impaired. Named Project Torino, their creation uses tactile 3D pieces that fit together in a variety of ways to illustrate how coding works. Microsoft says the aim of the program is to, not only teach new skills, but also help kids find new career paths that may not have been open to them before.

Read more about Project Torino in this article.

Have you heard of other programs that teach career skills to kids? Share your information in the comment section.

Microsoft Teaches Visually Impaired Kids Coding Basics

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired | 7 Comment(s)
Two sets of pedals but only one bicycle
A man pilots a tandem bicycle along a busy path with a young boy in the second seat“Founded in 2007, Blind Stokers is the largest and most active tandem club for blind riders in the country, according to the U.S. Blind Tandem Cycling Connection.” Dorothy Deans was at our Center when she heard about the club and decided to get involved.

After a pair of strokes took most of her vision, Dorothy decided to adapt and thrive. She is now 83 and riding regularly with one of three pilots she was paired with.

Read more about Dorothy and her love of riding in this article.

If you are looking for ways to adapt to vision loss, please visit our Program Page to learn about what we offer.  

Blindness can’t slow 83 year old cyclist

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Blind Living Skills, Personal Stories | View Post
A new television show features a blind carpenter and a DIYer
Fresh wood shavings sit on a wooden benchA DIY renovations YouTube star and a blind carpenter get together to do some home renovations in a new TV series set to air this spring.

They hope to show people that anyone can do anything they put their mind to with a little ingenuity and creativity, the right tools and a great partner.

Read more about the upcoming show and the stars of the series in this article.

Will you be watching? Come back and share your thoughts on the show after it airs.

Home-grown DIY Show Hopes to Inspire

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Assistive Technology, Blind Living Skills | 9 Comment(s)
Just a man and his camera
A close up shot of a camera lens. The camera sits in the background.Vladir da Silva was injured in a work-place accident that took his sight. He was only 24 and thought that his life was over. But he was able to hook up with an organization that taught him Braille, helped him learn to navigate and be independent again. And then someone suggested he try his hand at photography. At first, he thought they were a bit crazy, but now he is an avid photographer, using his other senses to know where and when to shoot.

Read more from Vladir in his article here.

If you are experiencing vision loss, we have programs that can help you learn to adjust. Visit our First Steps After Vision Loss Page for more information.

Shooting Blind, How I Mastered Photography After Losing My Sight 

Posted in Blind Living Skills, Emotional Adjustment to Vision Loss, Living Independently, Personal Stories | View Post
Assistive Technology aids this musician in her craft
A dark colored guitar sits in green grass with sun shining through the trees overheadRachel was born prematurely and went blind due to Retinopathy of Prematurity. She has perfect pitch and has been a music lover since she was a toddler. She uses assistive technology to produce her own music and has released her first album.

In this article she discusses the assistive technology she uses and where it is still lacking in the industry. 

If you are adapting to vision loss, we have programs to help you adjust. Visit our Programs Page for more information. 

This blind musician uses assistive technology to help develop her own unique sound

Posted in Assistive Technology, Blind Living Skills, Living Independently, Personal Stories | 6 Comment(s)
Inspiration from a triathlete
A hand stretches through clear blue water as the person swims“To give the most I have to give, not in just in triathlon but in life. It’s about discipline and structure. That’s what triathlon gives me.”

Ashley Eisenmenger is a triathlete who is blind. She competes with her guides who lead her through the course giving details on where the other competitors are.

She started running in high school and soon found out how much it helped her.

Read more about Ashley’s competitive nature and how she got into triathalons in this article.

Have you found an activity to help you deal with vision loss? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Trailblazer: Blind triathlete wins national title, hopes for repeat

Posted in Blind Living Skills, Emotional Adjustment to Vision Loss, Living Independently | 7 Comment(s)
Aira connects users to sighted assistance via an app or glasses
A sketch of a young man wearing glassesConnected to a live agent, the app allows visually impaired users to get assistance with daily tasks that would have otherwise been difficult or required the help of a store clerk, friend or family member.

In this article, one user describes how she uses Aira to get through the mall and find the shops she wants without having to ask a security guard or clerk for assistance. 

We have a store with assistive technology. Visit our online page to learn more.

This technology helps guide the blind and visually impaired

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Assistive Technology, Visually Impaired | 6 Comment(s)
Accessibility Issues Brought to Broadway
A street sign shows the intersection of Broadway Street and West 34thA class action lawsuit filed recently against the producers of ‘Hamilton’ and the theatre in which it is showing has brought attention to the overlooked area of Broadway accessibility for people with disabilities.

Although there are some areas such as wheelchair accessibility that are acceptable for many performances, those that need sign language translation, audio headsets or performances that are appropriate for people with autism are held infrequently or not at all for many shows.

Learn more about the lawsuit in this article.

If you are experiencing vision loss, we have programs to help you adjust. Visit our Programs page for more information.

‘Hamilton’ Lawsuit Turns Spotlight on Broadway Accessibility

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired | 5 Comment(s)
Helpful ways to save money and reduce costs
A cartoon of a pink piggy bank and a stack of coins symbolizing saving moneyThere are many ways available to save money, you just need to know where and how to access these discounts and special prices. This website outlines many of the places that people with disabilities can access special prices and shows you how to find more information. The website also outlines ways to access assistive technology for free or deeply discounted prices.

We have a store that may be useful if you are visually impaired. Learn more by visiting out online store center.

Retail Savings Guide for People with Disabilities

Posted in Assistive Technology, Living Independently, Vision Loss Technology & Products | 6 Comment(s)
Research leads to a new process that halts keratoconus
A sketch of a human eyeResearch has led to recently FDA-approved surgery for a patient with keratoconus in Los Angeles. Although the process doesn’t cure the disease, it does normally halt the progress of the disease and sometimes partly reverses some of the effects that have already occurred.

Read more about the new process and the research that is being done in this article.

If you are experiencing vision loss, we have a program that will help you adjust. Visit our First Steps after Vision Loss page for more information.

First patient in Los Angeles to receive FDA-approved corneal cross-linking procedure treated at USC Roski Eye Institute

Posted in Research | 7 Comment(s)
How technology changes life for people who are visually impaired
A womans hand holds a smartphone taking a photographAssistive technology is changing from the bulky, oversized, expensive items from years ago to apps that may be free or low cost and can be added to a mobile phone. This article looks at how these mobile apps help people living with a disability and what is still left to be addressed. The author points out that some of the basic elements such as internet connectivity can still be improved even though there are some great apps already out for other areas of life.

What do you think of the author’s consensus on how helpful mobile apps are? Share your comments below.

Tech and disability: Can Mobile Apps Make a Difference?

Posted in Assistive Technology, Vision Loss Technology & Products | 3 Comment(s)
Video games and visual impairment
a young girl and boy cheer in front of a Mac as they play a video gameThis article, based on a study released last year, looks at the impact that some specialized video games had on children who had a visual impairment. Because kids who are visually impaired are focused so much on seeing straight ahead of them, they often neglect the use of their peripheral vision. Using video games to encourage children to use their entire field of vision aided in mobility and awareness.

If you are experiencing vision loss, we have programs that can help you adapt. Visit our Programs page for more information.

Playing video games helps the visually impaired

Posted in Blind Living Skills, Research | View Post
A simulator to show what life is like with a visual impairment
A street view shot of a busy shopping area in Rome with 4 story orange buildings on both sides of a narrow street.This new online simulator may help sighted people understand a little bit more what it’s like to be visually impaired. The simulator uses Google street view and puts a filter on the images to show what it would be like to see places that you already know through the eyes of a legally blind person. Though it doesn’t illustrate what it’s like to walk through life with vision loss, it may help some people understand a little bit more of what it’s like to look through eyes that have cataracts, glaucoma or retinopathy. (The three filters available to users of the simulator.)

Do you think that simulators like this are helpful in raising awareness and understanding of life with a visual impairment? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

This online simulator will show you what it’s like to be legally blind

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Assistive Technology | 12 Comment(s)
New study shows link between cataracts and depression
An older woman with mid length gray hair faces away from the cameraA study published by the American Academy of Optometry states that older adults with cataracts are more likely to experience depression.

"Our study sheds further light on the complex relationship between aging, vision loss, cataract, and depression, and suggests that there may be a role for cataract surgery in improving mental health in the elderly," the researchers write.

Read more about the study and the conclusions that those involved reached in this article.

If you are experiencing vision loss, we offer programs to help you learn skills and get the support you need. Visit our Program page for more information.

Cataracts Linked to Increased Odds of Depression in Older Adults

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Eye Health, Living Independently, Research | 6 Comment(s)
An app that connects people for a bit of help
A close up of woman showing only half her face which is in shadowsWatch this BBC piece on the app, Be My Eyes which connects visually impaired users who need help with a small problem with volunteers who are willing to help. The app has been around for a few years now but it’s still gaining in popularity. The video walks you through an actual call between a mother who needs to find the right color thread and the volunteer who has offered a few minutes to help. 

Have you used the app Be My Eyes as either a volunteer or someone requesting assistance? Share your experiences in the comment section below.

An app to help blind people ‘see’

Posted in Assistive Technology, Living Independently | 7 Comment(s)
SDCB in the news
The blue logo of the San Diego Center for the BlindOur work was recently highlighted on ABC 10 News! They spent time at SDCB with Chris Summer who lost his sight after an accident at work discussing the assistance he’s received and how it has helped his daily life. They also spoke to Kim Gibbens, CEO, about the needs of our organization and how we are meeting the needs of the community despite government funding cuts. Read the full article and watch the news clip. Thank you so much to ABC 10 News for coming to our center and helping us raise awareness. 

Living with slow or sudden vision loss? Please get in touch with us. We offer counselling, training and support groups. Email us at info@sdcb.org or call (619) 583-1542. 

Center for Blind helps give people their independence back

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Emotional Adjustment to Vision Loss, First Steps After Vision Loss, Living Independently, Personal Stories, Visually Impaired | 6 Comment(s)
Some thoughts on the documentary Notes on Blindness
The sun rises over a city seen through a thin curtain“To gain full humanity, blind people and sighted people need each other.” So closes the documentary Notes on Blindness from the BBC.

In this Huffington Post article, the author discusses her own life living with visual impairment, the reactions she has received to her disability and her thoughts on how Notes on Blindness opens the door to conversations and broader understanding.

If you are experiencing vision loss, we have programs that can help you adjust. Visit our First Steps After Vision Loss Page to learn more. 

My Notes on Notes on Blindness

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Living Blind, Personal Stories | 6 Comment(s)
Describing the sky at night without visual comparison
stars in the night skyWhen people describe items, scenes or experiences, they often use visual references. But for someone who is blind or visually impaired, these descriptions might not mean a lot.

In this article, the author, an astrophysicist describes the night sky without using visual cues instead attempting to use references that a visually impaired person would be able to relate to. It’s an interesting read for the sighted and visually impaired alike.

Share links to other articles featuring non visual descriptions in the comment section below.

Pinpricks and spilled milk: describing the textures of the night sky

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired | 7 Comment(s)
A new device to translate microscopic images for the visually impaired
a high powered microscope is shown close upPeople who are visually impaired have not taken science classes in great numbers, probably partly due to the visual components of many areas of science. But a new device is helping people ‘see’ microscopic images using touch-feedback. Using the example of a blood smear, this article outlines how a joystick hooked up to a microscope allows a visually impaired user to feel the outline of white and red blood cells and learn more about what is happening on the slide. 

We have a store location that provides assistive technology to people who are visually impaired. Visit our store for more information.

Blind people ‘see’ microscopic images using touch-feedback device

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Assistive Technology, Living Blind | 6 Comment(s)
Currency Reader provided free to those who are visually impaired
A dollar bill is shown. It could be read by the free currency reader.The Bureau of Engraving and Printing, along with the Library of Congress, provide a small, hand-held Currency Reader to people who are visually impaired. The program isn’t new, but with February being Low Vision Awareness Month in the US, they are reminding people of the availability of these free devices to those who need them. Read more about the program in their Press Release or visit the website directly at US Currency Reader 

If you are experiencing vision loss, we have programs to help you adapt. Visit our First Steps After Vision Loss page to learn more

February is Low Vision Awareness Month: Apply for a Currency Reader at No Cost to You, if You Have Vision Loss

Posted in Assistive Technology, Living Independently, Vision Loss Technology | View Post
My visual impairment does not mean I can not do anything I set my mind to
A bubble cartoon stands at a podium giving a speechDevin Adams is a Grade 11 visually impaired student with a great big message that she recently shared. “Don’t change your expectations of me because I’m visually impaired.”

She wrote a speech for her English class and then shared it on Odyssey to ensure that her message is heard and understood.

Devin discusses how few people who are visually impaired are employed and how that scares her as a high school student pondering her future. She also mentions how lucky she has been to have a family who believe she can do anything she wants to and don’t hold her back.

Read more about what she has to say in this post

We have programs that can help you rebuild independence including counseling, training, and vision rehabilitation. Visit our Programs Page to learn more. 

Don’t Change Your Expectations of Someone Because They Can’t See

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Visually Impaired | 1 Comment(s)
Transforming the advocacy of words into the advocacy of achievement
Snowy mountains show the height of what can be achieved“Let’s transform the advocacy of words into the advocacy of achievement,” writes the author of this blog post on the Accessible Insights Blog. Looking at the change in advocacy from protests and in person discussions to the online forum and the lack of change in the world for people with disabilities, the author suggests that maybe the words we are using to change attitudes aren’t enough. Maybe achievements would make a stronger impact. 

What do you think of the author’s view? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

Is it time to transform the tone of advocacy?

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired | 6 Comment(s)
Being visually impaired in the age of technology
A busy city street full of vehicles and taxisAs a child with deteriorating sight, Michael Schuman was told to choose a career that didn’t require sight. He didn’t. He became a foreign correspondent and uses various forms of assistive technology to aid him in his travels and in his career. From zooming in on a taxi meter to using an iPad to read on long flights, technology allows Michael, and many with similar disabilities, access to tasks that could otherwise be nearly impossible.

Read through his article to learn more about his career and how he uses technology. 

If you are experiencing vision loss, we have a program to help you adjust. Visit First Steps After Vision Loss to learn more. 

How Technology is Besting My Blindness

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Assistive Technology, Living Blind, Visually Impaired | 1 Comment(s)
A guide dog - a commuter and a GoPro
A close up photo of a Go Pro from the back.Amit Patel strapped a GoPro to his guide dog and recorded their daily commute in the London Underground together. He then uploaded the highs and lows of their experiences on social media. The footage went viral.

Though he had no idea his posts would gain so much traction, he’s glad that he’s been able to raise awareness of what commuting is like for visually impaired people and help to educate those who are around him during his commute.

Read the article to learn more about his experiences and what’s happened since his videos gained in popularity. 

Have you dealt with similar experiences when traveling with your guide dog or on your own? Share your experiences in the comment section. 

A Dog’s Tale

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Living Independently | 12 Comment(s)
Cooking as a visually impaired person can be done with the other senses
7 white dishes of various sizes hold ingredients for a meal including sliced mushrooms, whole chili and a dark sauce. Beside the dishes is a wooden chopping board with a knife on top.Christine Ha is a blind cook who is raising awareness of the abilities of people who are visually impaired. Her recent video illustrates her abilities in the kitchen and how she makes a meal using her other senses. With a GoPro on her head, Christine makes a full meal that looks delicious.

Watch the video and read her blog post to learn more about Christine and her love of cooking. 

If you are experiencing vision loss or are visually impaired we may be able to help you learn skills that will help you to live independently. Check our Programs page for more information. 

How the Blind Cook  

Posted in Assistive Technology, Blind Living Skills, Visually Impaired | View Post
Reading can be fun for all kids
A white teddy bear sits on a blanket reading a bookKids who have learning disabilities or have trouble reading because of different types of visual impairments are often left out of reading games and competitions. Because of this, Learning Ally stepped in and created Learning Ally’s Great Reading Games for students across the US.

Kids are encouraged to read for at least 20 minutes a day in whichever format they can be it Braille, on e-readers or tablets. During the competition, people can submit photos, art work and other multimedia images. One child and one school will win prizes for their participation.

Find out more in this press release on the competition which runs until the end of February.

Have you or your children ever participated in an event such as this? Share your experiences in the comment section.

National Reading Contest to Double the Amount of Reading Time for Students with Dyslexia and Blindness/Visual Impairment

Posted in Blind Living Skills, Living Blind | View Post
Disaster Preparedness Includes a Plan for Visually Impaired People
A jagged crack in pavement that may have been caused by an earthquake.After the earthquakes experienced in New Zealand a few years ago, researches decided to look into how people with varying disabilities coped in the disaster, specifically studying those who are visually impaired. The results of the study is a report that lays out suggestions to ensure that people who are visually impaired are taken care of in emergency situations and calls for changes to emergency response plans.

Read more about the study and the findings in this article.

Share your thoughts on the emergency response study in the comments below.

Visually impaired experiences of earthquakes highlight gaps in disaster preparedness

Posted in Living Blind, Research, Visually Impaired | View Post
Encounters With a Guide Dog
A silhouette of a dog in harnessThis comical, yet serious article outlines 8 types of people you will meet as you’re out and about with a guide dog. From overly friendly people who want to reminisce about their own dog to those who can’t look up from a cell phone, the author covers it all in a way that will make you chuckle whether you have had similar experiences or not.

Read all about these groups of people in this article

If you are experiencing vision loss, visit our Program page to learn more about the services we offer.

8 Potentially Hazardous People You Meet as a Guide Dog Owner

Posted in Living Independently, Visually Impaired | 1 Comment(s)
A glove that finds the right box of cereal
A green bowl full of cereal covered in milk with a silver spoon dipping in to take a spoonful.“The Third Eye project is making machines that can both see and perceive the world”. The machines are then being used to assist people who are visually impaired with daily tasks that are otherwise difficult to do independently, namely, shopping. Penn State researchers have mounted a camera on a glove that provides audio and haptic feedback to guide the user to the intended product while shopping. It will help people find a specific brand or type of product without having to ask a friend or store employee for help during a shopping trip.

Have you tried a similar product? Share your thoughts on this technology in the comment section below.

Penn State uses machine vision to give the blind a ‘Third Eye’: LiveBIG 2016-17

Posted in Assistive Technology, Living Independently, Vision Loss Technology, Visually Impaired | 13 Comment(s)
The Royal Ballet teaches ballet to a group of visually impaired adults
A silhouette of a ballerina with one arm poised above her headDancing is usually considered a visual activity when, in fact, it doesn’t need to hold a visual component as a group at the Royal Ballet is proving. Taught by Royal Company soloist David Pickering, the group of visually impaired adults is learning the basics of ballet and enjoying the gift of music, movement and friendship.

Watch the video to learn more about the group, the teacher and how the class has been impacted by dancing together each week. 

Visit our First Steps After Vision Loss page to learn how we can help people who are adjusting to vision loss. 

Go Inside a Dance Class for the Blind at the Royal Ballet

Posted in Blind Living Skills, Living Independently, Real Life Stories, Visually Impaired | 1 Comment(s)
Braille versus Technology
A black and white image of the symbol for Braille.In this blog from WonderBaby, the writer looks at whether Braille is outdated and if technology has now replaced the need for children to learn Braille. She plays devil’s advocate for a few paragraphs before making the case for Braille literacy. Reading, whether printed text or Braille, stimulates the brain in ways that other activities don’t. It can also provide independence and stimulate creativity as those who can read can also write.

The writer also makes the argument that technology and Braille are no longer completely separate. You only have to think of the new Braille watch and the Braille displays for iPads to know she has a good point.

If you are experiencing vision loss, please visit our Programs page to learn about the assistance we can offer. 

Do Blind Kids Still Need to Learn Braille?

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Assistive Technology | 3 Comment(s)
Autonomous cars emerge as a possibility for visually impaired drivers
A close up shot of the dashboard of a car including the speedometer and fuel gauge. “Autonomous vehicles will be transformative for people who are blind,” says Dave Power, Perkins’s president and CEO. “There is tremendous enthusiasm about it, both here and nationally, among the blind.”

Advocates for people with disabilities want manufacturers to make vehicles that are disability friendly instead of creating vehicles specifically for the visually impaired to keep them affordable for everyone.

This article talks about a recent test drive held at The Perkins School for the Blind which included time to discuss how to make autonomous vehicles friendly for the blind.

What are your thoughts on having vehicles that the blind and visually impaired can “drive” independently? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

The Blind Community Has High Hopes for Self-Driving Cars

Posted in Assistive Technology, Visually Impaired | 1 Comment(s)
On a Mission to Advocate for the Visually Impaired
The exterior of Langdell Hall, Harvard Law SchoolJameyanne Fuller has always been visually impaired. She has always had a “can-do” attitude and has always made life work on her own terms. After experiencing discrimination and a lack of awareness in the general public, she decided to take on the challenge. She is attending Harvard Law School to become a disability rights lawyer in order to effectively advocate for herself and others living with a disability. Read more about her accomplishments and the drive to succeed at Harvard in this article.

We have programs that may be of use to you. Visit our Programs Page to learn more.

Blind 25-Year-Old Starting Harvard Law School to Make a Difference for Others: 'I Had to Advocate for Myself Every Day'

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Living Blind, Personal Stories | 1 Comment(s)
Showing that blindness is just another obstacle to beat
Lush green grass and trees stand in front of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.Dan Berlin has run the Grand Canyon, crossed the Inca Trail and climbed Kilimanjaro all in the name of encouraging kids who are visually impaired to consider blindness as just another obstacle to beat.

Dan takes on these adventures with a team who encourage each other over the duration of the challenge and help each other in whichever way necessary from guiding Dan helping each other overcome exhaustion and pain.

After completing each challenge, Dan’s team volunteers at local organizations that are set up to help blind and visually impaired children. They spend time with the kids showing them that anything is possible.

Read more about Dan and his team in this article.

If you are experiencing vision loss, learn more about the programs we have that can help you.

He’s run the Grand Canyon and crossed the Inca Trail. Now, this blind Colorado man has climbed Kilimanjaro.

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Blind Living Skills, Living Blind, Living Independently, Personal Stories | View Post
Seven marathons on seven continents in seven days
A group of men all dressed in running gear run down a wet street lined with spectatorsSinéad is a young woman on a mission: to be the first blind athlete to accomplish the World Marathon Challenge, a task that requires completion of seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. An exhausting mission for anyone, Sinéad will be accompanied by her guide to help her through the marathons in varying climates and altitudes.

Learn about her goal and how she feels about her visual impairment in this article.

If you are experiencing vision loss, we have programs to help you adapt. Visit First Steps After Vision Loss to learn more about this popular program.

YOUGHAL’S SINÉAD AIMS TO TAKE ON THE WORLD

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Blind Living Skills, Living Blind, Personal Stories | 2 Comment(s)
Accessibility enables people
A screen full of code for webpage creation is displayed on a monitor“Accessibility enables people with disabilities to perceive, understand, navigate, interact with, and contribute to the web.” And this article explains that creating accessible web pages doesn’t hinder creativity or innovation. It goes on to explain easy fixes to make pages more accessible such as not relying solely on color to show something, ensuring that enough contrast is used and avoiding making viewers hover over specific areas in order to find information and links. Though written specifically for web designers, some of the information is helpful for people who run their own small blog or want to know more about accessibility.

Do you have any other advice that would make web pages more accessible? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

7 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About Accessibility

Posted in Assistive Technology, Low Vision, Visually Impaired | 2 Comment(s)
The life story of Louis Braille is now a musical production highlighting his important contributions
The seating area of a theater with red flip seats.A new musical debuting in London, England, recognizes the contributions of Louis Braille and the difference he made in the lives of visually impaired people around the world with his creation of the Braille system of reading and writing. Well known theater actors will grace the stage to highlight the life of Louis Braille.

Here’s hoping the play does well so that it moves to international stages. Read more about those involved in the creation of the play in this article.

If you are experiencing vision loss, contact us to learn how we can provide assistance. Visit our Contacts page to get all our contact information.




Thom Southerland to Direct World Premiere of New Musical Inspired by the Story of Louis Braille


Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired | 3 Comment(s)
A map for all Californians
A blank map outlines the state of CaliforniaA map can be a useful tool to give directions, but it can also come in handy to understand the geography and topography of a region. MAD Lab has just completed a huge map of California to help those who are visually impaired or have low vision fully explore a map of the state.

Designers discuss the difficulties and the issues that they grappled with in making the map in this article. Finding ways to make the names readable overtop of the textures being used for mountains and water posed one challenge initially, but, as you will read, it was overcome with some redesigning. 

If you are blind or visually impaired, we have assistive technology that might be of use to you for sale in our Store

See California Like Never Before: MAD Lab creates its largest low vision and tactile map yet

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Assistive Technology, Living Blind, Living Independently | 6 Comment(s)
A call to the fashion industry to please include people with disabilities
A female model struts on a fashion runway in a light blue floor length dressThe Fashion Industry is notorious for idolizing only stereotypical “picture perfect” models. In recent years, many people have called for a change. It appears that the call is slowly being heard.

This article highlights three times that people with different disabilities were featured in 2016 from adaptive clothing by brand names to runway models featuring disabilities. It also calls for more of the same in 2017. “According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about one in five Americans live with disabilities”. To not have these people visible in the fashion industry isn’t acceptable and we hope the trend of change grows. 

If you are living with vision loss, we have programs that can help you adapt. Visit our Programs page for more information.

3 Times the Fashion Industry Celebrated People With Disabilities in 2016 & Why We Need To Do Better Next Year

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Living Independently, Real Life Stories | 1 Comment(s)
Accessibility Needs to Matter
A blue padlock on an old wooden doorAccessibility is a term that’s often thrown around without much thought given to the full meaning behind it.

This article looks at what accessibility means to people with different disabilities in a variety of settings including restaurants, healthcare and banking. It also looks more closely at why we should all care about having more of life be accessible to everyone.

Do you have anything to add to this article on accessibility? Add your comments below. 

Why Accessibility Matters

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired | View Post
Gaming undergoes adaptive changes
A white xbox controllerGaming hasn’t been terribly accessible to blind and visually impaired people in the past. But of course, that hasn’t stopped some passionate gamers from enjoying whatever parts of it they can. Recently though, more games are being created that are accessible in full or in part, to the visually impaired gaming community. Many can be enjoyed by sighted and non sighted individuals making it more fun to play together.

Read this article and watch the videos to learn more about the adaptive ways people are playing and what is being created now for visually impaired gamers.

If you are a gamer, share how you have adapted gaming to suit your needs in the comment section.

The ingenious ways that video games are being played by the blind

Posted in Assistive Technology, Blind Living Skills, Visually Impaired | View Post
Running again to deal with vision loss
A group of people in running gear run together in a marathon race. The group is shown from the chest down.Chaz Davis has a hereditary condition that has taken most of his sight over the past decade. As a younger man, Chaz ran track at school and did well. But after his vision started to deteriorate, he stopped running altogether. After a time though, he realized he had to stay mentally and physically healthy, so he took up running again. Now he runs with guides and made it to the Paralympics in Rio last summer as well as other races around the country.

Read more about Chaz and his achievements in this article.

If you are experiencing vision loss, we have programs that may help such as First Steps After Vision Loss

Blind Marathoner’s Debut Sets An American Record That Would Have Nabbed Him Gold in Rio

Posted in Blind Living Skills, Emotional Adjustment to Vision Loss, Real Life Stories, Vision Loss | View Post
Myths about blindness dispelled
A close up shot of a blond womans eyeIn this article, which includes a video, 16 myths about blindness are dispelled including what visually impaired people see and if a person is completely blind, what the absence of sight is like.

Without education and awareness, small ideas can get turned into hurtful or damaging myths that are passed along. It’s important for the general population to understand what having a visual impairment does and doesn’t mean. Watch the video here.

 If you are experiencing vision loss and would like to talk to someone, please contact us.

Do Blind People Dream? Myths and Misconceptions About Blindness You Shouldn’t Believe

Posted in Advocacy for Vision Impaired, Visually Impaired | 1 Comment(s)
What a visually impaired person sees is represented in art
Gray and white splatters of paint on a black canvasTo better understand what a visually impaired person sees, Refinery 29 spoke with five blind or visually impaired women. They interviewed the women about what they ‘see’ and came up with a photo to represent the description. They then photographed the women to show the difference between what the women see and what the world sees.

This beautiful compilation is available here. The interviews are detailed and explain the images.

Visit our First Steps After Vision Loss Page to learn more about how we can help.

Ten Images That Will Change How You Imagine Blindness

Posted in Blindness, Real Life Stories, Visually Impaired | 1 Comment(s)
Including visually impaired children in holiday traditions
A young boy stands in the snow with a Santa hat covering his eyes. He is holding a candy cane nearly as big as he is.Having a child who is visually impaired means that you may want to adjust a few things during the holidays to help them more fully experience the traditions that everyone else is witnessing.

The writer of this article is a mother of a deafblind child and gives 10 ideas for how to provide tactile ways to include a child in the holiday traditions. They are all low cost, low stress, high impact ideas that you can undertake together.

Do you have any other ideas to share? Add yours in the comment section. 

10 Ways to Include You Child in the Christmas Fun




Posted in Blind Living Skills, Living Blind | 1 Comment(s)
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